I Thought Teams Liked Bowls?

So I got a chance to watch the NC State vs. West Virginia game last night. Little did I know I would be going to bed early since this bore-fest put me straight to sleep. That’s beside the point though. NC State managed to pummel a, well, un-motivated team. Let me put this frankly: the main case against a playoff is the wild success of the bowls, how much everyone loves them, how fun they are, etc. Why then did the announcers and ESPN all night have to keep referring to West Virginia as the “team that didn’t want to be there?”

I can’t tell you how many times those bone-head announcers kept talking about how much fun the players have all week, all the festivities, how excited the players are for the bowl game and all that crap. Really? West Virginia looked really excited, didn’t they? How can they say these things in on breath and in the next talk about how unmotivated the Mountaineers were with all the distractions going on? This was hypocrisy at its finest.

No, West Virginia did not want to be there. No, the coaches were not at all interested in coaching. No, the players were not at all interested in playing. First off, Bill Stewart just got fired but not really. They hired his replacement who won’t actually replace him until after next season. Because that makes a lot of sense.

Second, the offensive coordinator was coaching his last game for WV. He must plan on retiring from football since he couldn’t possibly be auditioning for any other offensive coordinator spots. 7 little points against NC State? C’mon now, even Cincinnati put up more points than that. So you have a bunch of coaches who no longer care, a bunch of players mooching off that negative power, and that was all on display for the world to see. And the bowl system is a good thing?

My favorite part was when NC State was going to go for it on 4th and 1. The announcer said “There ya go. That’s what I like to see. It’s a bowl game so you can go for those 4th downs.”

Translation: “Finally something exciting. This coach actually understands the irrelevance of this game and knows since it is meaningless he can do anything and take any risks.”

So we have the announcers and analysts telling us WV doesn’t want to be there and telling us the bowl game doesn’t matter so coaches do whatever the heck they want. That sounds like a really compelling reason to keep up this sacred bowl tradition. I bet there was a lot of fun and frivolity leading up to the bowl game though, so it’s all right.

It’s one thing to be completely outmatched in your bowl game. (Arizona last year or Hawaii a few years back.) It’s another to just not show up to play (WV this year, Cincy last year, Alabama before that.) The bowl season provides us with some compelling matchups and great games. The only problem is you have to wade through the bog of mediocrity to get there. BYU and UTEP to kick things off? Two 6-6 teams, not exactly a battle of powerhouses.

So don’t worry. There are plenty of other 6 and 7 win teams waiting to play. There are plenty of other outmatched opponents who I’m sure can’t wait to enjoy their bowl game. (Washington, Uconn). And there will be more coach depleted teams facing off (Florida). Boy this bowl season will be the best yet. Wake me up when it’s January 10th.